ISL 2017-18: Pune City coach Ranko Popovic wary of a motivated Kerala Blasters under David James

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The coach also refuted suggestions of his players needing rest and believes Pune are on the right track...

Pune City head coach Ranko Popovic is looking for a balanced approach by his team as they prepare to take on Kerala Blasters at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Friday.

"If we want to have success, you must be ready to play defensive and offensive. We are still trying to be good. We are on a good path," said Popovic.

The Serbian head coach is not a fan of squad rotation and refuted the suggestion that some of his players need rest.

"If it's necessary to give rest to Alfaro, then it is okay. But I don't think so. If he comes to me and tells that, then fine. When I want to change (make a substitution) before the end (of the game), he is not happy and that is good. I want everybody to be ready to play 90 minutes." 

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"The number of games played in India is not a problem for European guys. There they have more games due to the cups. I think it is more of a problem for Indian guys."

The last game between these two sides ended in a 1-1 draw, with Marcelinho and Mark Sifneos scoring the goals. It was incidentally the first game of David James' second stint at Blasters after replacing Rene Meulensteen. James has brought in new players in Gudjon Baldvinnson and Victor Pulga. Popovic is wary of their new found motivation.

"It is very difficult to prepare against Kerala Blasters. They are a good club. They have new players and the motivation is big for them. You never know what to expect in any game. But for me, the most important thing is how we are. We have to be good and concentrate on our work," he concluded.

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